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Social Security and Spirituality

AARP

    In the August/September edition of the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) magazine the editor-in-chief states that he goes once a year to Hyde Park, the former home of Franklin Delano Roosevelt:  "Part pilgrimage, part family ritual . . . these beautiful grounds never fail to refresh us spiritually."
     Webster defines pilgrimage as " journey of a pilgrim; especially :  one to a shrine or a sacred place." 
    Thus, according to the AARP, FDR's homestead is now a sacred place, because he started Social Security.

      Lord, as we make our pilgrimage to heaven, may our eyes be on Thee, and not on this earth.

In what do you put your confidence?

   In what do you put your confidence?  Is it in the stock market?  What a wild ride - and overall this year the Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 6.6% this year, while the Standard and Poor is down 3.4%. 
As David wrote in Psalm 20:7 "Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
                                                    but we trust in the name of the Lord our God."

May we always trust in God, not things.

Bureaucracy Run Amok

Pastor unable to come to the States

     In September 2014 our church called Rev. Kornilov, a Russian who had been living in the States with a religious worker visa, to be our pastor.  As his visa expired in August 2014, he had to leave the country.
     In November he submitted his application for a new religious worker visa.  Today we got word that the Immigration Service is still investigating the case and needs another six months. 
      Bureaucracy run amok.  Fifteen months to examine the three months that he is gone?

      Lord who can move mountains, we plead with You that this mountain of bureaucracy would be moved. 

Bureaucracy

   The Department of the Defense has 727 instructions.  Each instruction can be several pages long or over 1,000 pages long.  The Secretary of the Navy and the Chief of Naval Operations have published over 1,100 instructions plus 169 notices.  Thus, in the Navy service, there are about 2,000 instructions and notices.
 
    God is much more clear in his instructions:  "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  this is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself." 

     God, your commandments are clear.  Help us to truly love You and our neighbor.

Search me, O God, and know my heart

Psalm 139:23

    I consider Psalm 139:23 as the scariest verse in the Bible.  Do I really want an omniscient (all knowing) God to search me?  Earlier in the psalm, David wrote how no matter where he tried to physically flee, God would be there.  Worse, David wrote that he wanted God to search his heart.  I can hide things from my children, my wife, my pastor.  But to invite God to search my heart is scary. 
     In the next verse, David wrote "lead me in the way everlasting."

God, forgive me of my sins and lead me in the way everlasting.

Ashley Madison, Hackers, and God

     Ashley Madison, a website promoting adultery, was hacked and e-mail addresses were released, much to the consternation of the guilty.  They thought their actions were safe - some by using work e-mail addresses, and not their home e-mail addresses. 
     But God knows all.  While they can hide from man, they can't hide from God. 

    May we say as the Psalmist did, "Search me O God and know my thoughts."

Thank You Hilton

   Hilton hotels will no longer be showing pornographic (pay as you go) movies in their hotels.  This is a huge victory as Hilton is a major brand.  Good on them.  Other hotels that have dropped XXX rated films are Marriott, Omni, Drury, Ritz-Carlton and Nordic Choice Hotels.
   So take a moment and sign the "Thank You Hilton" petition. http://www.afa.net/action-alerts/say-thanks-hilton-abandons-a-dirty-sideline-business/

They need to hear the good news when they do something right.

   Thanks Lord for this victory.

In what do you put your confidence?

     In Psalm 20:7 we read "Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
but we trust in the name of the Lord our God."
     With the ISIS threatening to destroy the Christian communities in Iraq and Syria, with the stock market not performing (Dow Jones is down 2 % this year), with health uncertain, with the job market uncertain, where do you place your trust?
   We trust not in things, not in what, but we trust in Whom, in the Lord our God.  For with Him, we have a solid foundation that will outlast this world and death.

   Lord, help us to trust You.

What happens when Science is wrong?

Eugenics gone wrong

Margaret Sanger wrote the in the Pivot of Civilization: "Modern studies indicate that insanity, epilepsy, criminality, prostitution, pauperism [poverty], and mental defect, are all organically bound up together and that the least intelligent and the thoroughly degenerate classes in every community are the most prolific.  Feeble-mindedness in one generation becomes pauperism or insanity in the next.  There is every indication that feeble-mindedness in its protean forms is on the increase, that it has leaped the barriers, and that there is truly, as some of the scientific eugenists [sic] have pointed out, a feeble-minded peril to future generations – unless the feeble-minded are prevented from reproducing their kind.  To meet this emergency is the immediate and peremptory duty of every State and of all communities."
     Her solution?  forced sterilization of all the poor and feeble minded.  This was often based on IQ tests which were based on knowledge, not intelligence.  Thus, many of the poor, primarily immigrants and blacks, were recommended for sterilization.

Lord, we confess that our nation has often elevated science over the Bible, and instead of treating people as image bearers of Thee, we have mistreated the poor and the minorities.  Forgive us of these sins.

Black Lives Matter - III

Planned Parenthood founder, Margaret Sanger, says no

"In a letter to Dr. Clarence Gamble in December, 19, 1939, Sanger exposited her vision for the “Negro Project,” a freshly launched collaboration between the American Birth Control League and Sanger’s Birth Control Clinical Research Bureau. The letter echoes the eugenic ideologies still visible within the corporate vein of Planned Parenthood today. It seems to me from my experience…that while the colored Negroes have great respect for white doctors they can get closer to their own members and more or less lay their cards on the table which means their ignorance, superstitions and doubts.
(The original letter can be read here:  http://smithlibraries.org/digital/files/original/d6358bc3053c93183295bf2df1c0c931.pdf)

We should hire three or four colored ministers, preferably with social-service backgrounds, and with engaging personalities. The most successful educational approach to the Negro is through a religious appeal.

We don’t want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population, and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.

Source:  http://liveactionnews.org/7-shocking-quotes-by-planned-parenthoods-founder/

In addition to the religious aspect, now the black community has one of their own, the President of the United States of America, vigorously defending Planned Parenthood.

Lord, open our eyes that we may see the evil around us.

Black Lives Matter - II

     Yesterday I was part of a jury on a case of a man accused of murder and severely wounding (lost an eye and is permanently paralyzed) another man.  When the police forensics arrived on the scene they picked up a lot of bullet casings from different guns, 22 & 45 caliber and 9 mm guns.  This was not the first time there had been shootings done in this neighborhood!  They did find the weapon, a 45 caliber pistol, that had been used and they matched the bullets to the gun.  Note that pistol had an extended magazine for 27 rounds and 19 bullets had been shot.  The Wild West seem tame compared to this neighborhood.
       The accused man, his accomplice brother, and both victims were all black.  Why is there no outrage about blacks shooting blacks?   Black lives matter.  White lives matter.  All humans, black and white, are created in God's image.

     Lord, thank you for creating us in Your image.  Forgive us when we don't treat other humans as Your image bearers.

Black Lives Matter - I

Planned Parenthood & Blacks

    Black lives matter!  But if you want more bang for your buck, perhaps we should concentrate on saving black lives in the womb.  Considering that blacks make up about 12% of the population, why are 35% of abortions for black babies?  (http://www.blackgenocide.org/planned.html).  About half of all abortions are done on Hispanics and black women, although they make up perhaps only a quarter of the population.

     Lord, forgive our nation for targeting the minorities.  
   

Kneeling in Praying

     In Luke 22:41 we read that Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane "withdrew about a stone's throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed."  We often imaging Jesus kneeling (for example see http://www.concordianews.org/kids/2009/0904-garden.htm).
But Matthew 26:39 we read how he actually prayed.  "Going a little farther, He fell with his face to the ground and prayed."  So He knelt down (Lk 22:41) and then while kneeling had his face to the ground."
     Food for thought:  should we kneel when we pray vice just sitting in our comfortable easy chair or lying in our bed?

    Lord, helps us to pray.

Science & Planned Parenthood

     How much more scientific evidence does Planned Parenthood need to know that life begins at conception?  As we study more and more the human body, we understand more and more how the baby develops.  We now know that a baby's heart is formed early and the parents can hear the heartbeat at six weeks.  Settled science would say that is a human.  But Planned Parenthood refuses to acknowledge what the scientists say.

      Lord, we praise You for creating us in Your image.

Settled Science

Humility?

     Settled science is a declaration that the scientists have a closed mind - that they are not willing to look at new information.  They are saying that they have the answers.  Unfortunately, science is not settled.  There is always more information, more experiments being done to gain more information.  Galileo figured out that the earth revolved around the sun.  He also figured out that the tides were caused by the rotation of the earth, not by the moon.  Oops.

      Lord God Omniscient, keep us humble.

Sonograms

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

     At the office at work a pregnant woman has a picture of her unborn child - a sonogram.  She knows that she is carrying a baby.  The sonogram illustrates what Psalm 139:14 says:  "I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 15.  My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place."  Sonograms show mothers the beauty of their child. 
      Unfortunately, sonograms also show the Planned Parenthood doctors just where they should crush the baby so they can get the right body parts for medical research.

      Lord God, please send thy Holy Spirit and convict the Planned Parenthood doctors of their sin.